Featured Product


    Sidis and Scholars

    Essays on African Indians




    This book details aspects of African Indian history, communities, music, and religion, from the disciplines of history, anthropology, archaeology, art history, religious studies, and ethnomusicology. MORE



New Features - Photo Galleries and Interactive Written Material Viewer!

Further background on publications, unpublished ethnographic materials on South Asia: 1938/1984 logs and catalogues, 1963-4 lists of performers granting permission, 1975 Pakistan fieldwork diaries and production stills, and more.

New Titles!


by Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy


This narrated DVD explores the sacred music, dance and rituals of devidasis and devidasas, women and men dedicated to the goddess Renuka/Yellamma. Worshipped by millions of devotees in the border regions of southern Maharashtra, northern Karnataka, and adjacent areas of India, this fertility goddess is best known through media representations and social activism protesting practices linked to sexuality and prostitution. Her musical and social traditions have parallels in the devadasi (women dedicated to male deities) system in Tamilnadu before its reform and classicization in the early twentieth century. MORE



Folk Music of Pakistan 1975-76



This 60-minute ‘Sounds-and-Stills’ show of Pakistani folk music is based on Nazir Jairazbhoy’s three-week fieldtrip to Pakistan in 1975, sponsored by The Smithsonian Institution in collaboration with Lok Virsa (National Institute of Folk Heritage, Pakistan), and the resulting weeklong visit of Pakistani musicians to perform at the Festival of American Folklife in Washington D.C. in 1976. The fieldtrip extended from high in the Hindu Kush mountains to the southern areas of Sindh, with recordings from all four provinces - NWFP (Peshawar), Punjab, Baluchistan, and Sindh - as well as Kafiristan (Birir Valley). All recordings were made in Pakistan in Sufi shrines, villages, and other contexts, or in Washington, D.C. Mystic songs, joyful instrumental renditions, wedding laments, and jubilant dance music convey a beautiful and variegated soundscape, especially appropriate to release at this time to counter the media images of Pakistan prevailing today. MORE



Kathputli: The world of rajasthani puppeteers

by Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy


This book explores Rajasthani string marionette puppetry and the views and attitudes expressed by hereditary kathpulti Bhat puppeteers. From the history of puppetry and related bardic traditions in India, to ingenious modern adaptations of the tradition, it elucidates performance content and context, preparations and practices, including traditional songs, puppet manipulation, and the boli voice modifier. The “story behind the story” of the hero Amar Singh Rathor, central to the kathputli tradition but rarely understood by audiences, is explained based on Bhat oral tradition, derived from 47 interviews and performances, throwing a unique light on the historical figure. The book complements the fictive documentary video, Retooling a Tradition, elucidating it as only a scholarly written work can do. 280 pages, 93 color/b&w illustrations, song texts, musical notations, bibliography, index. MORE



Featured Reviews


Sidis and Scholars

"This revealing and valuable book is the product of conscientious and sympathetic research and lengthy fieldwork."- Noor Jehan Mecklai (Dawn, 13 June 2004)





Hmong Musicians in America: 1978-1996

-"Bravo! A Wonderful presentation deep in mulit-layered analysis and perspectives. A joy."-Scott Marcus, Professor of Ethnomusicology, UCSB

At Home with Master Musicians of Madras: Volume 1, T.N. Krishnan

"This videotape constitutes an important addition to [the] Apsara Media series…  [T]his video could contribute to an excellent learning experience in the classroom, in which students appreciate how content and context were interwoven in the late 20th century world of Carnatic music.-Professor Rolf Groesbeck, University of Arkansas



Hi-Tech Shiva and Other Apocryphal Stories: An Academic Allegory

"Jairazbhoy weaves eleven 'apocryphal' stories - and they are fun rides from start to finish including the tongue-in-cheek glossary." -The Sunday Times of India (11 July 1993)

"... Jairazbhoy has produced a collection of stories which can only be described as a spectacular foray into fiction." -India West (Feb 7, 1992).





Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora

"This excellently informative documentary of the history, music, and religion of the Sidis is the latest in a series of valuable educational videos by the noted ethnomusicological team Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy and Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy."
-Richard Wolf, Professor of Humanities, Harvard Univ.
(Source: AEMS News and Reviews, 7:2)



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